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Studying fungi, but writing fiction

A recent PhD pens a wildly popular online novel based on Phantom of the Opera

Stephen Pincock
It's a warm Wednesday morning at the University of Sydney, Australia, and Tanya Golubchik is sitting in a leafy courtyard drinking iced coffee, looking pretty relaxed. The 27-year old molecular biologist has good reason to take a breather. After four challenging years completing a tough PhD on the crop pathogen Fusarium oxysporum, her thesis is finally done and dusted -- 60,000 words or thereabouts bound neatly on a shelf.But there are many people who would rather she work, not relax, and Golubchik has many more words to write. Not words about fungal genetics, however -- she's due to submit a new chapter to her online work of fiction, "A Solo for the Living," whose fans are on tenterhooks, waiting for more.Golubchik writes fan fiction (fanfic), a type of story based on characters from TV, movies, and books, typically penned by a fan of the original story. In "A Solo...
movie Phantom of the Operaa Web sitewriteXena: Warrior Princess...They regarded each other in silence, the disfigured man and the thin, black-clad woman. The only sounds were the monotonous drip of water off the walls and the wet scenery, and the gurgle of the gutter.At length, Madame Giry spoke."So, Monsieur Opera Ghost. We meet again."Erik glared up at her resentfully. He made an angry flourish at the ruined half of his face. "A ghost no longer, madame. As you no doubt see.""Ah. Then you prefer a different title now...." Here she removed something from her bag and showed it to him. "The Phantom of the Bakery, perhaps?"Erik made a low growl in the back of his throat, lashing out at her mocking hand, but she merely took a step back, holding the bread away from him."You mock me!""I do."Erik struggled to his feet. "I assure you, madame, if you have come here to jeer at my humiliation--""You will kill me, too?"Something in Madame Giry's face made him stand still."I have never believed that humiliation is anything to jeer at," she said. "Perhaps you have forgotten."Phantom of the OperaHarry PotterPhantom of the OperaPhantommail@the-scientist.comhttp://www.bio.usyd.edu.au/staff/saleeba/saleeba_students_staff.htmhttp://www.imdb.com/title/tt0293508/plotsummaryhttp://www.fanfiction.net/s/2364528/1/'http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/23879http://www.fanfiction.net/s/1010578/1/http://www.fanfiction.net/l/224/3/0/1/1/0/0/0/0/0/1

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